No retailer is an island in the sea of CSR : A multiple case study of how buyers and suppliers co-create CSR in the retail supply chain.

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för marknadsföring (MF)

Abstract: In recent years, the concept of sustainability has increased of importance and customers today are more aware of the implications of not being sustainable. As of the increased awareness, customers are demanding more sustainable practices from retailers, which leads to them communicating this further down the supply chain. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis has been to examine and understand how retailers together with their suppliers in the furniture and interior retail industry co-create a more sustainable supply chain through the Corporate Social Responsibility framework, and to identify what kind of facilitators and barriers that appear in co-creation of CSR between buyers and suppliers. The empirical findings were obtained using a qualitative multiple case study of seven furniture and interior retailers originated from Sweden through semi-structured interviews. The findings were then analyzed and discussed with the presented literature to identify how they were similar or different. The conclusion of this thesis shows that buyers somewhat are engaged in co-creation with their suppliers, although there is no unified answer for how, as the level of involvement, why involved and in which function they are involved are highly different among the cases. A common theme throughout the findings indicated that the more responsible the company is, the more developed they are in their buyer-supplier relationships. Although, the co-creation level of a relationship was found to be ambiguous due to its unexplored nature of the B2B market. Furthermore, the thesis identified both some general and more specific facilitators and barriers that could be used as a guide for future co-creating activities for the implemewntation of CSR in the retail supply chain.

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